Are Tarot Cards Evil or Dangerous?

Guest Article by Christine,

While Tarot is much more present and well known within society than it was even 20 years ago, a lot of myth and superstition still surround Tarot, leading many people to think that it is evil or dangerous. This is not the case, Tarot is not magical or dangerous.

What Does Tarot Do?

Tarot is all about accessing intuition, the knowledge that you already have in your subconscious mind about the reality of your life and the world around you, which your conscious mind cannot access. Accessing this information allows you to more clearly see what is happening in the here and now, and to understand what the consequences and outcomes of actions and decision will be. In this way it helps us understand, and take control of, the future by letting us make better, more well-informed decisions.

The senses, including psychic senses, collect vast amounts of data in every second. This is more data than our conscious minds, responsible for our daily monologue, can manage. Consequently, the conscious mind filters the information from the senses, and then processes it based on experience, societal norms, and a self-preservation instinct that tries to keep us within a space that the conscious mind has defined as safe. Meanwhile the subconscious mind has huge processing power and is capable of processing all the data collected by our senses. This means that it has a much more accurate view of the world than our conscious mind. Sometimes in times of need, the subconscious mind will send us insights that it has developed, a hunch, a light-bulb moment, or a feeling you just can’t shake. Tarot is a way of accessing the insights of the subconscious mind on demand.

But Isn’t Tarot an Occult Practice?

Tarot is often associated with the occult, largely because it was popularized in the early 20th century by members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was indeed an occult group. Many of the occult practices associated with Tarot were developed by this group, but they are not innate parts of Tarot as a practice.

Reading Tarot does not require the reader to participate in any occult rituals, to communicate with any spiritual forces, benign or malevolent, or the presence of psychic abilities. A Tarot reader taps into their own intuition and energy, that of their client, and that of the universe, to make sense of the world. This is something that anyone can learn to do, with practice.

But Tarot Can Predict Evil Occurrences?

It is a sad truth that there is evil in the world, and as Tarot looks at the world, it too can reveal things of evil. But this does not make Tarot itself evil, and in fact, we should never fear what we learn in a Tarot reading. The point of a Tarot reading is to provide us with information about what is happening to help us change the future for the better, or at least prepare for it. In a way, Tarot readings are never negative or positive, they are just truthful.

What do Some of Tarot’s Most Notorious Cards Really Mean?

There are some cards in the Tarot deck that have a particularly bad reputation as harbingers of doom, but none are as they may initially seem.



Who doesn’t remember Jane Seymour turning over the Death card during her stint as a bond girl, and the look of terror in her eyes? While the Death card is ominous in both name and imagery, only in very rare cases is it a symbol of physical death. Death is a symbol of transition, of endings, and new beginnings. When the card appears, it represents the end of something in your life, and endings can often be painful as it can be difficult to let go of things. But Death also promises new beginnings, and that by losing something you are making space for something new in your life.

Far from being a harbinger of doom and gloom, for many people, the Death card is reassuring, as it promises that the loss you are facing is not without purpose, and that something new is on the way.

The Devil

Contrary to popular belief, The Devil card does not indicate that you have sinned and will have to suffer the consequences, in this life or the next. However, it does indicate that there is something negative going on in your life that is leading to destruction. The Devil often appears as a warning to rid yourself of this negative energy before it causes more damage. It is also a sign that you will have to live with the consequences of what has happened, and to prepare for that.

Although dealing with the consequences of mistakes can be challenging and painful, the appearance of The Devil card heralds an opportunity to learn from this situation, and to be stronger and more aware, ensuring that you are not ensnared again in the future.

The Tower

The Tower card is usually an open of upheaval and chaos. Usually depicting a tower in the state of being destroyed, and its occupants hurt in the process, The Tower suggests that something that seems solid may in fact be built on shaky foundations and could collapse at any time. Its appearance suggests that while you may think that everything is safe and comfortable, a major upheaval is on the horizon.

The Tower indicates that you need to let some fundamental structure in your life collapse. But the card does not represent the end, but rather an opportunity to rebuild, and correct mistakes from the past. You can read a brilliant guide on the Tower card here:

Tarot is About Taking Control

At its core, Tarot is about taking control. Tarot readings help us understand our lives and the challenges that we face so that we can make more informed decisions that help us shape the future that we want. This is neither evil nor nefarious, but it is an opportunity. The central philosophy of Tarot is that life does not just happen to us, but we shape it. Knowing that we have a level of control over the future bring me great optimism, rather than fear.

Gretchen PearlComment